fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Harry Stephen" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2010 03:20:25 +0300
Subject: LIFe BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP
I apologize to you for any inconveniences caused if this mail does not meet your demands, though I do not intend to embarrass you by the contents of this very email. I am Mr Harry Stephen. I was the account manager to Mr. Abdullah "Apo" ?calan, a Turkish citizen.
Kindly treat the contents of this letter and the information on the link below confidential.
Mr. Abdullah "Apo" ?calan is having some problem with the Turkish government because of his involvement in political alliances, which led to his arrest by the Turkish government and he has been behind bar since 1999.
However, he had a son who died as a result of cancer of the heart and since his arrest he had been in communication with me from the prison requesting me to assist him confidentially in getting the funds he deposited in my bank secured in a trusted foreign account without leaving traces to the Turkish government.
The fund which is in the tune of US$45 Mil was secretly deposited with my bank when Mr. ?calan ran to Kenya in East Africa to seek for asylum and to secure most of his fortune for fear of being confiscated by the Turkish Government. Please note; this deposit is not know to anyone else except this late Son Yusuf ?calan and myself who is his account officer and he warned me not to divulge information about the deposit to anyone in order not create lapses that could reveal the fund to the Turkish Government.
Presently, he has mandated me to source for the assistance of a reliable foreign partner in order to get this money transferred to his or her account for security reasons. He has agreed to give out 40% of the total sum to the person that will assist him to get this fund out of the reach of his government because this is his only means of lively hood.
I had to contact you because I have been given a go ahead order to do so after going through your information and find out that I can trust you with the transaction. I dont want anything to happen to his money neither do I want my client to suffer after he is released from the prison.
Please if you are willing to assist me with the transaction, kindly reply back with the information below to enable me provide you with further details on how we are going to get this transaction to a successful end. Be informed, there is no risk involve into the transaction and I assure you that once you give me your full support , we will get this transaction successfully concluded within 14 banking days. As I said I am the only person with this information and Mr. Abdullah "Apo" ?calan warned me to make sure that I dont allow the Turkish government know about this money because it is his last hope.
Reply back with the information below if you are willing to assist me.
Your full name
Your contact address,
Your phone number,
Do reply back with this email if after going through this email and you are willing to assist email@example.com
I shall be waiting for your urgent response to enable me commence operations.
Mr. Harry Stephen